flagfall

flagfall, flag fall [esp. Australian: connection fee] = Verbindungsgebühr {f}

  • “Some providers charge a flag fall or call connection fee for each call made. The flag fall is an amount charged for initiating a call, on top of the cost for the time of the call. For example, you may only speak for 12 seconds but be charged for 12 seconds plus a flag fall. Ask your phone company whether they charge a flag fall per call. “ acma.gov.au
  • “Flagfall or flag fall is common Australian expression for a fixed start fee, especially in the haulage and railroad industry. From the Australia mobile phone industry, the expression has recently begun to spread to other English language countries, as business jargon for an initial fixed fee for establishing each phone call. The expression is also beginning to find its way into other businesses as a synonym to “start fee”. The origin is a taxi expression for the minimum charge for hiring a taxi, to which the rate per kilometre or mile is then added. It dates back to the old mechanical taximeters, which were equipped with a flag-like lever that could be seen from outside the cab. When the “flag” was up and visible, the cab was not occupied. When a passenger stepped in, the driver turned the lever down – the “flag fall” – and the taximeter started counting. The taxi expression is also being used in Hong Kong and some other countries, but hasn’t been used there as a general synonym for start fee.” Wikipedia EN: Flagfall
  • “Zeittarife sind üblicherweise in Intervallen getaktet; meist SekundenBKL- oder Minutentakte; manche Anbieter stellen zusätzlich eine Verbindungsgebühr in Rechnung.” Wikipedia DE: Zeittarif

The expression may have begun to “spread to other English-language countries”, but 65 out of the first 100 Google hits are found on .au sites, so it definitly qualifies as “Australian” (as opposed to “of Australian origin”). The general English expression for this type of charging is still “connection fee”. There’s also “per-call fee”, although this is more commonly used by companies that charge you for calling them (like helplines), not by operators.

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